[EDITORIALS]Bias shows its face in probesThe prosecution is seeking a warrant to detain Representative Hahn Hwa-kap of the Millennium Democratic Party. He is charged with receiving illegal funds during the primaries to select the party’s presidential candidate in 2002.
That has prompted more debate on whether the prosecutors’ investigation is fair. The Millennium Democrats are criticizing the probe, calling it a plot to kill their party before the legislative elections in April.
The prosecutors said they came across Mr. Hahn’s name while they were probing illegal political funds from the SK Group last year, but that there would be no action taken against him unless additional evidence came up. Now, Millennium Democrats are complaining that the case against Mr. Hahn was revived because he refused to leave the party to join the new Our Open Party.
Among the seven MDP presidential candidates in the primaries, five dropped out. Roh Moo-hyun and Chung Dong-young fought until the end; Mr. Hahn was among those who dropped out.
A candidate who ran until the end must have spent more money than one who gave up in the middle of the race. Mr. Roh said at a press conference last July that the financial data about the primaries had been destroyed after his victory. There may be nothing available to investigate, and the prosecution is focusing its probe on the defeated candidate, turning a blind eye to the Roh camp’s primary election funds. How can such an investigation be called fair?
That reasoning also applies to presidential election funds. Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-youn, who fled to the United States just a day before he was banned from leaving the country, recently sent a fax to the prosecution admitting that he had provided 1 billion won ($850,000) to GNP Representative Suh Chung-won. While he does not mention anything about illegal money given to other parties, why does he willingly cooperate with the probe of Mr. Suh? The planned probes of Park Sang-kyu and Kim Won-gil, who left the Millennium Democratic Party and joined the Grand National Party just before the presidential election, are also suspicious.
This is political neutrality by the prosecution?